There are many reasons why a cancer patient or survivor may be looking for a career change. Once you’ve coped with cancer, you may want to do something more meaningful and fulfilling. Cancer is a life-changing event, and it can change one’s perspective. Another reason may be for a better work-life balance, or perhaps because you want to shift to something more suitable to your current situation. While finding a job in a new career may seem like an impossible hurdle, there are a number of steps you can take to help achieve your goals!
- Before going through a career change, we recommend making sure your finances are squared away. If you need to take a low-paying, unstimulating job to stay afloat in the short-term, that’s okay!
- Look before you leap. Research your options before switching jobs. See if you can shadow someone for a day or so or ask for an informational interview to get to know the industry and/or job better.
- Boost your resume by developing new skills. Watch our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar, Enhancing Your Skills: Prepping for Success for some ideas.
- Use key words in your resume that match the job description. Resumes often go through ATS (applicant tracking systems), so using the right key words can help your resume get flagged for the next step. Learn more about how to write your best resume here. After writing your resume, submit it to be reviewed by a professional career coach using our Resume Review Service.
- It’s typical for cancer patients to want to do volunteer work at hospitals or with support groups, and this can be a great way to gain experience. However, some mental health experts advise you to put off that experience. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, for instance, you can’t become a volunteer until at least a year or more post-treatment. The thinking is, you may need some time to process and digest your own experience before you can help others as much as possible.
- Remember, you want to be the best job search candidate you can be. Download or order a free copy of the Job Search Toolkit for advice on improving resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles; tips on interviewing and networking; guidance on exploring more meaningful and alternative career options; and an array of resources and tools to assist you in looking for work after cancer.
For more on job search and career change, register for our upcoming Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar Series: Job Search, Resumes 101, Networking and Career Change webinars. We also recommend reading through our Looking for Work articles.